It is said that faith without good works is dead. President Muhammadu Buhari has been praying and expressing optimism that Nigeria will overcome its myriads of security challenges. “We have done our best and we will continue to do more by pursuing coherent and consistent policies to deal with terrorism. I hope God will listen to our prayers,” Buhari said in his recent meeting with Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State and a delegation of Tijjaniyya Movement (worldwide), led by Khalifah, Tidjani Ali Bin Arabi.
Ganduje, who is the leader of the Tijjaniyya Islamic Movement in Nigeria, had invited the Tijjaniyya world leader to Nigeria to lead in prayer, particularly against insecurity.
No doubt, our President is a man of faith. He has been praying against terrorism and banditry in Nigeria. Last October, he went beyond prayers by promising to review our strategies to continuously degrade the capabilities of all criminal elements in the country. He reassured then that his administration would not rest until the country’s security challenges were addressed. According to him, the government was creating strategic cooperation between the military and paramilitary formations to work together towards combating crimes in Nigeria.
The President’s faith, promises and vows to crush bandits anywhere they are in Nigeria serve as a morale booster to some Nigerians. It restores hope and gives the impression that our leader is doing something to tackle the menace of insecurity in the country. But, does Buhari’s faith have good works? Does God hear his prayers?
It depends. In recent times, it appears God listens to his prayers. The exploits of our security men against bandits and terrorists appear to indicate so. On New Year day, Nigerian armed forces conducted an air raid in the bandits’ hideout in a forest in Zamfara State. More than 100 of those bandits including two of their leaders, Alhaji Auta and Kachalla Ruga, were said to have been killed. Since May last year, the military claimed it killed 537 bandits and other criminal elements in the North-West and arrested 374 others. Security agents deserve commendation for taking the war to the criminals in the forests and dealing with them decisively. Many Nigerians have been advocating for this type of action.
Besides, Buhari said his government would not relent in its military operations to upstage the bandits. The current administration procured some Tucano jets from the United States recently. Perhaps, that is what has changed the narrative a bit in the war against banditry and insurgency. The Nigerian Air Force has done well to dislodge the bandits from their stronghold in Zamfara. This is a typical example of having faith with good works.
But we need to do more because the victory of our security men over criminals pales to insignificance when compared with the havoc the bandits have wreaked on our people. In Zamfara State, over 300 motorcycle-riding gunmen invaded some villages this January and killed over 200 people. Some 10,000 others were reportedly displaced as their homes were razed. Many others are still missing. It is in this same Zamfara that bandits shot down a Nigerian Air Force jet in July 2021.
In Kaduna and Borno states, bandits and insurgents reportedly killed over 58 persons last December. They destroyed houses, trucks and cars in the Kaduna attack. As usual, Buhari condemned the killings while Governor Nasir el-Rufai prayed for the repose of the souls of the victims. In Katsina, Sokoto, Taraba and many other northern states, the story is the same. Innocent schoolchildren and travellers are kidnapped at will and sometimes brutally killed.
It is pertinent to note that every crime is local. Hence, state police would have been effective in tackling the spate of banditry in the country. But the other day, Buhari was reported to have rejected state police. According to him, state police is not an option because governors could abuse it. He alluded to the poor relationship between the local governments and the governors and noted that the third tier of government was not getting what it was supposed to get constitutionally. Buhari had said in 2019 that states might not be able to pay the police.
But the Nigerian Governors’ Forum through its chairman, Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, allayed the President’s fears saying it was a fallacy to say that state governors wouldn’t be able to fund state police. He said there must be multi-level policing. If not for anything, the existence of regional security outfits such as Amotekun and Ebubeagu as well as the Hisbah in Kano is an indication that having other layers of policing in the country is essential now more than ever before.
State governors cannot just be chief security officers of their states in name. As the Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, put it recently, “An arrangement, which compels the governor to seek clarifications on security issues in his jurisdiction from totally extraneous bodies or persons is a sure recipe for anarchy.”
The President should have a rethink about this state police issue. Global best practices encourage decentralization of policing. The United States of America, for instance, does not just have state police, it also has council police. If we have state police, a frustrated Governor Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina State would not have asked Nigerians to arm and defend themselves against bandits.
All the eminent Nigerians and groups who have called for state police cannot all be wrong. Some of the groups include the Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere; Igbo socio-political group, Ohanaeze Ndigbo; the Pan-Niger Delta Forum and the Middle Belt Forum.
In addition to prayers and faith, the President should direct security agencies to mop up over six million illegal arms in the hands of non-state actors in Nigeria. Recently, an audit report of the Auditor-General of the Federation noted that about 178,459 different types of firearms and ammunition got missing from the Nigerian police armoury in 2019. The items, the audit report indicated, could not be accounted for as at January 2020. Among many other anomalies, the police high command, according to the audit report, failed to keep record of unserviceable and expired firearms and ammunition. The report attributed some of the anomalies to weaknesses in the internal control system at the Nigeria Police Force Armament. It is possible that some of the sophisticated weapons bandits use today such as grenade launchers, machine guns and anti-aircraft guns were part of the missing arms from the police armoury.
The President has tried. But he needs to do much more, if we must win the war against terrorism and banditry. Rather than lament and urge Nigerians to show more understanding regarding our problems, Buhari should back up his prayers with concrete actions that will achieve better results, security-wise. We need to replicate the action taken against bandits in Zamfara in other parts of the country.
Re: In the name of Holy Spirit
Hello Comrade Casmir, l don’t miss reading your column at the least chance in my fairly crowded schedule. Among your recent best is the January 10, 2022 edition titled, “In The Name of Holy Spirit”. The piece is not only true and revealing, but it is also anti-Satanic, capable of redeeming thousands of fake-minded persons, particularly the female folk, who claim to know God but lack faith in Him. Hopefully, false-pretenders, their followership and victims would read the article under reference for their immediate resurrection and salvation from those Babylonian Pastors. I suggest you repeat the same piece, for public interest, should you not have time to script another one for next edition of the paper. Bon annee.
–Comrade Alloy Khenom (lronlee), Bodo City, Rivers State, +2348033139597
Bible made us to understand that judgement will start from so called men and women of God because of their evil acts. God knows His people. How can so called man of God bathe married women in church and telling his members he got the message from God. Security agents should arrest the pastor. Those kinds of pastors are full in Nigeria deceiving people with fake miracles.
-Gordon Chika Nnorom, Umukabia, +2348062887535
Casmir, is it not written for reasons as highlighted by the vices of supposedly M.O.G (Men of God) that the judgement of God shall start from the ‘house of God’? We are in the end times where the strangest of things abound. Although, the scriptures admonish us to be like the ‘Berian Christian of faith’ who were investigative in their followership of Christ, most still behave like the ‘dogmas of faith’ who don’t apply wisdom which is profitable to direct. Most don’t study scriptures relying dogmatically on MOG to do it for them. These MOG take advantage of their complacency/laxity to bad effect. The scriptures say that we should study to show ourselves approved unto God a workman that needs not be ashamed rightly dividing the word of truth. We are not approved (commended) when we don’t study the word and the resultant effects are the shameful acts they (the ignoramus and ‘mumusious’ followers) indulge in criminally ‘roping’ the ‘innocent holy spirit’ — because of his invisibility/intangibility — as they carry out their satanic and stupid acts.
-Mike, Mushin Lagos, +2348161114572
Dear Casy, Igbo adage has it that thread strands knew the content of what was wrapped while the content of what was wrapped knew the person who tied it up (elili m’alu ngwugwu, ngwugwu m’alu onye kelu ya). When juxtaposed with the activities of today’s men of God, most activities very bizarre, the Holy Spirit differentiates those who, actually, are acting under His influence from the voodoo ones and has adequate pay-back packages for them accordingly. I only pity the gullible ones who fall prey.
-Steve Okoye, Awka, 08036630731.
Casmir, the ugly economic realities in the world have brought depression to many people. To fight it most people find solace in God, as the Alpha and Omega. These groups of people want a suitable environment where they can commune with God, the author and finisher of every problem. Most of such people in their desperate need for solution end up in the hand of dubious men of God who go by names such as Priests, Prophets, Evangelists, Reverends, etc. A woman who seeks medical solution and finds out that the medical personnel is playing with her private parts should know that the personnel is dubious. In the same vein, a lady who seeks spiritual solution in the supposed Holy Sanctuary of God, should know that the man of God is no longer on the right track when her privacy is abused.
Government has a very great role to play in this issue. It has the duty to strengthen the economy and make life more meaningful in order to reduce depression.
-Pharm. Okwuchukwu Njike, +234 803 885 4922
Dear Casmir, religious worship is the latest MUGU movement. The worst is that the followers have remained sheepish rather than shinning their eyes. It’s the reign of extortion, sexual molestation and promotion of valueless success. I had called for National Agency on Fake Ministration (NAFAM) but nothing has been done. Enough is enough.
– Cletus Frenchman, Enugu, +234 909 538 5215